05/07/2002 11:00PM

Public memorial for Slew

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mickey and Karen Taylor, Seattle Slew's owners, and Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Lexington, the stallion's last residence, are planning a memorial service for the 1977 Triple Crown winner, who died Tuesday at the age of 28.

Seattle Slew will be memorialized on July 19 - the anniversary of the colt's sale at the 1975 Fasig-Tipton summer yearling auction, where the Taylors bought him for $17,500 - at Hill 'n' Dale, according to farm owner John Sikura. Final details, including the time of the service, will be announced at a later date.

Since 2000, Seattle Slew had undergone two spinal surgeries and moved in March from Three Chimneys Farm, where he had stood at stud since 1985, to recover at Hill 'n' Dale.

"All racing fans and fans of Seattle Slew are welcome here to attend the memorial, and arrangements can be made through Hill 'n' Dale," Sikura said. "I've read some criticism that the racing public was not able to visit Seattle Slew in his final weeks of life, but his isolation was out of respect for this noble horse, due to the seriousness of his condition. He was not up to accepting visitors."

Sikura also said the Taylors have determined that a statue of Seattle Slew will mark his grave in a courtyard at Hill 'n' Dale. Seattle Slew was buried whole with his blanket and a bag of peppermints, which he liked to eat.